Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Ni Hao,
Nothing new to report. Everything is fine, I really love being here. I really learn so much every single day.
This week our ponchos finally came. My companion and I asked his mom to send us some a while ago. We wear them in the cafeteria, we were sick of occasionally spilling something on our shirts. And not only do they protect us from our inability to eat in sunday clothes, but they make us look super cool too! Most people can't help but feel envious (or confused). When your schedule gets so predictable, you find ways to make little things more enjoyable I guess.
Since I really don't have anything to say, I guess I could write something I learned. I was reading that talk by President Packer called "Candle of the Lord", and even though I have read it before I was really impressed with this comment:
"The skeptic will say that to bear testimony when you may not know you possess one is to condition yourself; that the response is manufactured. Well, one thing for sure, the skeptic will never know... Can you not see that that is where testimony is hidden, protected perfectly from the insincere, from the intellectual, from the mere experimenter, the arrogant, the faithless, the proud? It will not come to them.
The Spirit and testimony of Christ will come to you for the most part when, and remain with you only if, you share it. In that process is the very essense of the gospel.
Is not this a perfect demonstration of Christianity? You cannot find it, nor keep it, nor enlarge it unless and until you are willing to share it. It is by giving it away freely that it becomes yours."

I don't know why this was such a revelation for me, but it was. And I think that this really doesn't only apply to developing testimony either, but developing anything.This really is the core of our message, when you think about it, and it is such a beautiful thought, the idea that what you give away is what becomes yours, and what you keep for yourself is what you never truly have. We shouldn't only share our testimony, but our time, our energy, our love, and really our entire lives with God and with others. I think Christ himself really summarized this idea most clearly in Matt. 16:25: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." And of course, His life was the perfect example of this principle. I guess I just realized I can be giving so much more of myself to the Lord and to his work than I currently am.
I think the real thing I learn here is how much I still have to learn, and I know that sounds kind of cliche but it is true. And I'm sure I still have no idea how little I really know, it will probably be a pretty big shock once I get off the plane in Taiwan. But I guess if I can be sure I'm doing everything I can to live this principle, then the Lord will be proud, and that really goes for everyone, not just missionaries.

I love you all so much. I love learning this language and trying to be a missionary. Thanks for everything!
Elder Braithwaite

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